Future of Swansea Valley nursery in doubt after rent hike
CHILDREN, parents and staff at a Swansea Valley day nursery are facing an uncertain future after community centre landlords decided to hike their rent by what nursery managers claim is an extra £2,000 a month.
Forge Fach Day Nursery has been based at the Forge Fach Community Resource Centre in Clydach since 2007, employing ten staff, and looking after up to 25 children.
But letters have this week been sent to parents advising them that managers are desperately seeking alternative accommodation nearby, after the business was told it faced a massive increase in rent from next month.
Cwmni Clydach Development Trust, which runs the centre, said the nursery had been paying below market rates for a number of years, and the increase was necessary in order for the Trust to balance its books.
But manager Rowena Bent, who said she faced a rent increase from £565 a month to £2,656, said the hike threatened the future of the business, including the jobs of her staff, and considerable inconvenience for parents who relied on the nursery's services.
Rowena Bent said: "This is devastating for me and my team.
"I care deeply about my staff and the children and parents that use the nursery, but the rent increase will mean that it is unsustainable.
"If I can't find anywhere else the closure will result in the loss of ten jobs, three of which are held by staff who are pregnant, and over 35 parents having to seek alternative childcare arrangements causing possible distress to all.
"Forge Fach was set-up with public money and it is supposed to be a community resource for the people of Clydach, but this means all that will be taken away."
Chairman of Cwmni Clydach Development Trust, Wyn Jones, said the increase had been introduced in order to ensure the centre could continue to make ends meet.
He added: "The nursery has been paying well below the commercial rate for a number of years. We have no intention of asking the nursery to leave, but her business model needs to take it into account.
"We already subsidise the gas, electricity and tumble drying for the nursery. If we do not make the changes now then Forge Fach Community Resource Centre will struggle to continue."